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Dover couple Gary and Tanya Tennant claim they contracted scabies from mattress bought from Brighthouse, Dover

By Victoria Chessum

A couple are refusing to make payments for a mattress... amid claims they caught a contagious skin condition from their new bed.

Gary and Tanya Tennant, of Erith Street, were housebound for seven weeks after they claimed a doctor told them they had got scabies from bed bugs.

But household furniture company Brighthouse has said it has found no evidence that the Dover couple contracted scabies from the newly-bought mattress.

Mr and Mrs Tennant say they contracted scabies from a matress they bought from Brighthouse in Dover

A spokesman said the mattress had a protective film over it when it was sold.

Mr and Mrs Tennant bought the bed and mattress from the Dover branch in High Street, along with other bedroom furniture, a TV, stereo and cooker.

The couple, who own two black cats, Smokey and Jess, sent the mattresses back and ripped up the bedroom carpet and wallpaper to ensure their home was completely bug-free.

They have managed to scrape money together to redecorate and buy a new bed but the Tennants are now in need of a new carpet, and have suggested that Brighthouse pays the extra costs.

Mrs Tennant said: “The doctors told us exactly what was wrong with us.

"Obviously we had to go out but we made sure we didn’t touch anyone" - Tanya Tennant

"Obviously we had to go out but we made sure we didn’t touch anyone.

“We just want a carpet.”

Scabies is caused by tiny mites burrowing into the skin, which then causes an itchy rash.

Others can catch the condition from skin-to-skin contact, sharing clothing, towels and bedding from someone who is infected.

The Tennants said that until the problem is resolved they are refusing monthly payments of household items from the store.

A Brighthouse spokeswoman said: “We take great pride in our high standard of service and we take all customer matters very seriously.

Close-up of a scabies burrow. The large scaly patch at the left is due to scratching. Picture: Michael Geary

“We are continuing to work with the customer to reach a resolution.

“However, after a thorough investigation, we have not uncovered any evidence that the bed bug infestation originated from the mattress we provided.

“These mattresses were brand new and came straight from the manufacturer wrapped in thick durable plastic to protect them.”

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